HIGHER EDUCATION QUALIFICATION FRAMEWORK HANDBOOK

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1 HIGHER EDUCATION QUALIFICATION FRAMEWORK HANDBOOK Index Page Abbreviations and Acronyms 1 1 Introduction 2 2 Timeframes: Short-Term And Long-Term 3 3 HEQF Review and the Implications 6 4 Other CHE Functions 7 5 PHEI-Specific Concerns 8 6 Co-Ordination of HEQF Amendments to DHET, HEQC, SAQA and Other 9 Stakeholder Records (Including Professional Bodies) 7 HEQF Implementation Template 10 8 Criteria and Classification of Programmes and Qualifications 17 9 Internal Programmes, Majors and Teach-Out Processes HEQC Capacity and the Evaluation Process (Includes HEQC 22 Accreditation Framework) 11 Explanation of Cells of HEQF Implementation Template Section 1 with 25 Code Lists and Validations 12 Explanation of Cells of HEQF Implementation Template Section 2 with 30 Code Lists and Validations Annexures 13 CHE-HEQF Communiqué 1 A 14 Higher Education Qualifications Framework B 15 Joint Communiqué 1 C 16 Joint Communiqué 2 D 17 Joint Communiqué 3 E 18 Joint Communiqué 4 F 19 SAQA Level Descriptors G 20 HEQC Criteria for Programme Accreditation H

2 ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS CESM CHE Classification of Educational Subject Matter Council on Higher Education CHE-HEQF 1 CHE-HEQF Communiqué 1 DHET HEQC HEQF NQF PQM PHEI SAQA Department of Higher Education and Training Higher Education Quality Committee Higher Education Qualifications Framework National Qualifications Framework Programme and Qualification Mix Private Higher Education Institution South African Qualifications Authority 1

3 1. INTRODUCTION Since the publication of the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF) on October 2007, the South African higher education sector has long anticipated the publication of the implementation plans for this ambitious framework. In the period August 2008 August 2010, a number of Communiqués were published jointly by the Council on Higher Education (CHE), Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) (formerly the Department of Education), and the South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA), providing institutions with clarification and some guidance regarding the HEQF. Specifically, Joint Communiqué 3 provided interim procedures and guidelines for the implementation of the HEQF for the period 2009 and In October 2010 the CHE published CHE-HEQF Communiqué 1 indicating the intended plan for the implementation of the HEQF. This plan adopts a phased approach and is anticipated to span a five-year period starting in January 2011 and ending December All existing institutions, public and private, offering existing and previously accredited higher education programmes will be impacted upon by this process in some manner or form, whether it be through a minor name change or a complete re-curriculation of the programme content. The purpose of this handbook is therefore to provide institutions with the tools and information necessary to implement the HEQF as effectively and efficiently as possible. It is designed in such a way as to answer many questions raised by institutions since the publication of the HEQF in terms of implementation, and to attempt to clarify any areas of concern as they relate to the implementation of the HEQF as published. This document does not, however, in any way attempt to address any of the areas of contestation relating to the content of the HEQF: the qualification types, admissions requirements or progression routes, or any other areas of concern related to the HEQF itself. These matters will be addressed by the CHE as part of the HEQF Review to be finalised in Further, while this handbook briefly addresses the issue of co-ordination between the various stakeholders, it does not take into account the specific responsibilities of each roleplayer beyond the CHE and HEQC in the implementation of the HEQF. This handbook should be read in conjunction with the HEQF and CHE-HEQF Communiqué 1, as well as the Joint Communiqué documents published by the CHE, DHET and SAQA. HEQF HEQF HOTLINE:

4 2. TIME-FRAMES: SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM 2.1 Re-curriculation A number of institutions have already begun the process of re-curriculation, while others have made the decision to wait until advised to re-curriculate as part of the HEQF implementation. Institutions should, at this stage, have begun to have engaged with the principles of the HEQF and have considered the impact the changes the HEQF will have on the institution and its offerings without necessarily having conducted a complete overhaul of their academic structure. These changes will include changes to the names of the qualifications, NQF levels, credit weightings of qualifications, admission requirements, progression routes and CESM categories. Further, institutions should be considering their recurriculation plans as they apply to the two phases mapped out in CHE-HEQF Implementation of Phase One: January 2011 September 2011 In keeping with the phased approach of the HEQF Implementation Plan, Phase One is also made up of three smaller phases, namely: categorising programmes into Category A, B or C; capturing the necessary data onto the offline templates made available by the HEQC; and submitting / uploading this information onto the newly developed HEQF-Online system. The period January March 2011 has been identified as an offline period to allow institutions to become accustomed to the templates and handbook, to begin to engage with the process of re-curriculation and to raise any specific queries as they relate to the implementation plan and handbook. April September 2011 will see the process move into the online environment: institutions will be able to begin uploading their programmes onto the HEQF-Online in bulk and continue doing so until 30 September 2011, when the HEQF Online will be closed for applications. The manner in which the templates have been designed will allow institutions to decide how they wish to upload their submissions, but it is not intended that institutions upload programmes one-by-one, but rather as large bulk uploads. For example, an institution may decide to upload by faculty, or by qualification type; alternatively an institution may decide to upload all its programmes at one time the HEQF-Online system will allow for all occurrences. A series of validations have been built into the HEQF-Online system to ensure initial compliance with the HEQF and the system. As institutions upload their submissions, the system will validate their information. All those programme applications that validate correctly will be accepted and captured onto the HEQF-Online; those that cannot be validated, due to inaccurate or missing information etc. will not be captured and the inaccuracies highlighted to allow institutions to make amendments and resubmit. Institutions will also be able to overwrite and resubmit existing submissions should they wish to make amendments. Moving into the initial months of Phase Two and in the period October 2011 February 2012, the HEQC will assess the submissions made by the institutions through special sittings 3

5 of the HEQC s Accreditation Committee with the specific intention of making a final determination on those categorised as Category A programmes. These decisions will then be communicated to institutions. Institutions submitting programmes categorised as Category B and C will be provided with further information during this period as to what additional information will be required to finalise their Category B applications or to teach-out their existing Category C programmes as part of Phase Two. 2.3 Implementation of Phase Two: October 2011 December 2014 As is indicated in CHE-HEQF 1, the CHE has initiated a process of reviewing the HEQF which will include a consultative process to be concluded by the end of May Recommendations arising from this review will then be communicated to the Minister of Higher Education and Training who is responsible for determining the HEQF and for gazetting any changes in terms of section 8 (2) (e) of the NQF Act. It is anticipated that Phase Two will include, as part of its initial stages, a consideration of any possible amendments to the HEQF resulting from the review. At this stage, the period October 2011 December 2011 will include periods of reflection, information sharing, planning and additional workshops to prepare institutions for the second phase of the implementation plan. It will also be during this time that institutions will be provided with the necessary information, documentation and workshops to prepare their Category B applications. Phase Two of the HEQF Implementation Plan focuses specifically on programmes that have been identified as Category B programmes, i.e. those that require some curriculum development and therefore require some evaluation by the HEQC and for which a further phased approach has been adopted. In the period January to July 2012, universities identified as being categorised as being in the Blue Group will be asked to submit their Category B applications. In the period July to December 2012, universities identified as being categorised as being in the Purple Group will be asked to submit their Category B applications. In the period January to July 2013, private institutions will be asked to submit their Category B applications. In the period July to December 2013, comprehensive universities categorised as being in the Red and Orange Groups will be asked to submit their Category B applications. In the period January to July 2014, universities of technology will be asked to submit their Category B applications. 4

6 2.4 Higher Education Qualifications Framework Implementation Plan Timeframes Phase 1 and Phase 2 [Draft] January 2011 HEQF Implementation Workshop, 25 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 July 2012 July 2012 December 2012 January 2013 July 2013 July 2013 December 2013 January 2014 July 2014 July 2014 December 2014 HEQF-Online applications open 04 April 2011 HEQF Evaluator Training Workshop JHB / PTA HEQF Evaluator Training Workshop DBN HEQF Evaluator Training Workshop CPT HEQF-Online applications close 30 September 2011 Universities Blue Group submit Category B Applications Universities Purple Group submit Category B Applications Private Providers submit Category B Applications Comprehensives Red Group submit Category B Applications Comprehensives Orange Group submit Category B Applications Universities of Technology submit Category B Applications P H A S E O N E P H A S E T W O 5

7 3. HEQF REVIEW AND THE IMPLICATIONS The CHE recently received a number of submissions made by institutions and other interested parties as part of the initial phases of the HEQF Review, and is in the process of considering these proposals. Once all proposals have been studied, a consultative process will be established which will allow the CHE to engage further with the higher education sector, professional bodies, stakeholders, and other interested parties. The consultative process is anticipated to conclude in May 2011 and any recommendations as a result of these consultations and proposals effecting changes to the HEQF will be made to the Minister of Higher Education and Training who is responsible for determining the HEQF and for gazetting any changes. At this stage, while a number of queries and proposals have been made regarding possible changes to the HEQF, the CHE is unable to comment on specific amendments that may or may not be under consideration. However, taking into consideration some of the areas of contestation, the HEQF Implementation Plan has been designed in such a way that it allows institutions to submit for approval those programmes that are easily alignable with the HEQF (Category A). Once deemed accredited, institutions will then be able to begin offering these programmes, on condition that the necessary processes with SAQA and the DHET have been concluded. It has been determined that those qualification types on the HEQF that have been highlighted as problematic are more likely to be submitted as Category B programmes, and as such, will require additional information in Phase Two of the Implementation Plan. As has already been noted, it is also assumed that the HEQF Review will have been concluded by the start of the Phase Two and much of the debate around the HEQF settled. As Phase Two is anticipated to expand over a four-year period, or more, the roll-out of Category B HEQF-aligned programmes will be a slow process, beginning only in 2013, at the earliest. 6

8 4. OTHER CHE FUNCTIONS 4.1 Naming Conventions The HEQF makes it clear that responsibility of the naming of qualifications falls with the CHE (HEQF 2007:12). However, in terms of the necessary naming conventions as they apply to the alignment of existing programmes to meet the requirements of the HEQF, the CHE has not, to date, published the naming conventions to be used by institutions in the HEQF alignment process. Until such time as these conventions are made available, institutions should continue to make use of the guidelines proposed in Joint Communiqué 3. The CHE will consider all applications and motivations for renaming of existing and HEQF-aligned qualifications as proposed by institutions, and will apply the principles of the HEQF and of Communiqué Standards Setting Function As per the requirements of the HEQF, the CHE is responsible for the generation and setting of standards for all higher education qualifications (HEQF 2007:7). To date, the CHE has begun the initial phases of engaging in consultative discussions regarding this standards setting function as well as establishing the necessary infrastructure. However it is likely that the first standards will not have been developed within the first phase of HEQF Implementation. In the interim, institutions are advised to make use of the SAQA Level Descriptors as published in November 2010 when aligning their programmes to the HEQF. 4.3 Short Learning Programmes It has been determined through the National Qualifications Framework Act s (67 of 2008) delegation of functions that the CHE is responsible for accrediting short learning programmes. Currently this is being effected through delegation to institutional rather than through the establishment of a national infrastructure for short course accreditation. Thus institutions should continue to manage their short learning programmes according to any internal and other processes previously used. Institutions should also be reminded that in accordance with the HEQF, the qualification types designated in the HEQF are protected for whole higher education qualifications only. 7

9 5. PHEI-SPECIFIC CONCERNS 5.1 PHEI and Re-accreditation As part of their re-registration requirements, private higher education institutions (PHEIs) have been required to undergo a process of re-accreditation. In 2009, the HEQC introduced the principle that only those programmes that could be deemed HEQF-alignable would be considered for re-accreditation; all other programmes would be granted an extension of accreditation until such time as the Minister announces the final date by which time when all programmes must be HEQF-compliant and these programmes would be required to be taught out. By the end of the 2011 re-accreditation cycle, over 90 PHEIs of the over 110 registered PHEIs will have submitted their existing HEQF-alignable higher education programmes for re-accreditation. 5.2 HEQF-aligned v HEQF-alignable As part of the re-accreditation process, the term HEQF-alignable was used to identify existing programmes and qualifications offered by PHEIs that, with minimal or minor changes, could be re-curriculated to meet the requirements of the HEQF. It followed that as part of the implementation process, once these curriculum development changes had been made, these programmes could then be considered HEQF-aligned. Programmes that have been deemed re-accredited (with or without recommendations) and therefore deemed HEQFalignable as part of the 2009 or 2010 re-accreditation processes can continue to be recurriculated by the institution, categorised and submitted for HEQF alignment. 5.3 Re-accreditation 2011 and 2012 The manner in which the phased timeframes of the HEQF Implementation Plan have been structured means those institutions that completed re-accreditation in 2009 and 2010 will have received feedback for their HEQF-alignable programmes with sufficient time to make the necessary amendments prior to making their submission for HEQF alignment in September In an attempt to reduce duplication of bureaucratic processes, those PHEIs that have been identified as eligible for re-accreditation in 2011 and 2012, unlike those submitting for reaccreditation previously, will be permitted to engage with and complete the re-curriculation process prior to submitting their applications for re-accreditation and therefore submit HEQFaligned rather than HEQF-alignable programmes. In this way, these institutions will be submitting the same HEQF-aligned programme for both re-accreditation and HEQF alignment rather than trying to submit the existing HEQF-alignable programme for reaccreditation and the re-curriculated HEQF-aligned programme for alignment purposes. Institutions engaged in Re-accreditation 2011 may choose, however, to follow the latter course of action, should they wish to. 8

10 6. CO-ORDINATION OF HEQF AMENDMENTS TO DHET, HEQC, SAQA AND OTHER STAKEHOLDER RECORDS (INCLUDING PROFESSIONAL BODIES) As has been stipulated in Joint Communiqué 4 and as intimated in the HEQF itself, the CHE has taken responsibility for the implementation of the HEQF as it applies to new and existing programmes and qualifications offered by higher education institutions, both public and private. However, in order to draw this project to its necessary conclusions, clear channels of communication between the various stakeholders including the DHET, SAQA and the various Professional Bodies will be required. To prevent duplication in information gathering in this process, and in preparing the HEQF Implementation Template, the DHET and SAQA were consulted and agreed to have portions of information required for their respective information resources incorporated into the template. In an effort in strengthen the lines of communication and improve the co-ordination between stakeholders, the HEQC will also provide access to the HEQF-Online, along with the necessary training, to allow these stakeholders to access information received by the HEQC as part of the implementation process and to make use of it to populate their own databases and information resources. The CHE cannot, however, account for the processes that each stakeholder will apply with regard to their respective functions. Institutions are advised to contact the DHET, SAQA or the individual professional bodies directly for more detailed information on these processes. PHEI HEQF Implementation Registration Processes: Contact: Dr Shaheeda Essack Deputy Director: Private Higher Education Department of Higher Education and Training Tel: University HEQF / PQM Processes: Contact: Ms Hannelie van Rensberg Deputy Director: Programme Management Department of Higher Education and Training Tel: SAQA HEQF Qualification Registration Processes Contact: Mr Eddie Brown Acting Director: Directorate Registration and Recognition South African Qualification Authority Tel:

11 7. HEQF IMPLEMENTATION TEMPLATE In the implementation of the HEQF, it has been decided to follow a combination of offline and online electronic templates and processes both in an attempt to assist institutions in managing this enormous task, and in assisting the HEQC in constructing and developing the national database of higher education programmes, both existing and HEQF-aligned, as is indicated in CHE-HEQF 1 (2010:7). Institutions will be provided with an offline HEQF Implementation Template which they will be required to complete and upload onto the HEQF-Online system. The applications will then be processed further online. This will complete Phase One of the HEQF Implementation Plan. Phase Two will require institutions to provide information in addition to that already requested which, depending on the depth and breadth of the information required, may be submitted directly onto the HEQF-Online. The Phase One HEQF Implementation Template comprises two separate sections: Section 1 to collect data relating to existing non HEQF-aligned programmes or qualifications and categorising the programmes as either Category A, B, or C programmes; and Section 2 providing data about the intended changes to Category A and B programmes to align them with the HEQF. Making use of the templates and look-up tables provided by the HEQC, institutions will complete the necessary information required on an Excel spreadsheet. It is important to ensure that the HEQC Reference or unique Qualification Reference Number is used consistently on all templates when referring to a specific programme to ensure that the information integrates effectively. When ready, institutions will be able to upload completed spreadsheets onto the HEQF-Online system for validation. Once validation is complete, each application will present itself on the HEQF-Online system as a separate submission with a similar interface as is presently available on the HEQC-Online system. While in principle the forms are identical for public and private providers, a small section of information required for HEMIS data collection has been included for public providers, but the information required is largely the same. The annotation of the HEQF Implementation Template Sections 1 and 2 that follows includes all the information required for both public and private institutions. 10

12 Notes to assist in completing the HEQF Implementation Template 7.1 SECTION 1 (Public and Private Providers) Description Institution Name HEQC Institution No. Provider Type [Use drop down menu] Programme HEQC reference number, if available, otherwise any other unique Qualification reference Full title of existing qualification (as per approved PQM or Register of PHEIs) Abbreviation of qualification title Existing SAQA Qualification Identity Number (where applicable) Mode of Delivery [Use Drop down menu] Professional Classification [Use Drop-down Menu] Professional Body [Only required if Professional selected from Professional Classification] Professional Body Registration Number [Only required if Professional selected from Professional Classification] NQF Exit Level Total Number of Credits Total Number of Credits at NQF level 5 Total Number of Credits at NQF level 6 Annotation Institutions must insert their full institution name, as indicated on their PQM or Register of PHEI. Please do not make use of any abbreviations. Institutions must insert their HEQC H0 number (public provider) or PR0 number (private provider) as indicated on all HEQC reference numbers such as H08 or PR0898. Selecting from the drop down menu, institutions must indicate their provider type. Institutions must provide the HEQC reference number per programme (where possible) or any other unique qualification reference such as an institutional qualification code. This will be used as the HEQC /. Qualification Reference number. Institutions must provide a full title for each existing qualification as per the approved PQM or Register of PHEIs. Where programmes do not appear on the PQM or the Register, institutions should indicate that full name of the qualification as it appears on the Institutional Academic Structure. Institutions must provide the abbreviation used for each existing qualification. Where applicable and possible, institutions must provide the existing SAQA qualification identity number allocated to each existing qualification. Making using of the drop down menu, institutions must indicate the mode of delivery via which each existing programme and qualification is being offered. Making using of the drop down menu, institutions must indicate the professional classification of each existing programme and qualification. If a programme or qualification has been indicated as professional, the appropriate Professional Body must be indicated by the institution. If a programme or qualification has been indicated as professional, and a Professional Body has been indicated, institutions must indicate the Professional Body Registration Number. Institutions must provide the NQF level of the existing programme or qualification. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each existing programme or qualification. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each existing programme or qualification at NQF level 5 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each existing programme or qualification at NQF level 6 where 11

13 Total Number of Credits at NQF level 7 Total Number of Credits at NQF level 8 Minimum admission requirements for the existing qualification Minimum duration (years) for completion Full Time Minimum duration (years) for completion Part Time Proposed HEQF Alignment Categorisation Proposed Teach-out Date [only required if Category C is selected from HEQF Categorisation] appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each existing programme or qualification at NQF level 7 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each existing programme or qualification at NQF level 8 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the minimum admissions requirements for each existing programme or qualification. Institutions must provide the minimum duration of each programme or qualification when studied full-time. Institutions must provide the minimum duration of each programme or qualification when studied part-time. Selecting from the drop down menu, institutions must categorise each programme or qualification as Category A, B or C. Only applicable where Category C has been selected institutions must indicated the date by when it is anticipated the programme will be completely taught out. This date should be indicated in a YYYY-MM-DD format Existing programme design [Institution to complete the necessary table - can add lines as necessary] Major fields of study by second or third order CESM category of existing 1.21 qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] 1.22 HEMIS qualification type of existing qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] HEMIS minimum experiential time of existing 1.23 qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] Total subsidy units of existing qualification [Not 1.24 applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] Funding level of existing qualification [Not applicable 1.25 if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] When completing the existing programme design table institutions must include unique module codes, full module names, indicate if modules are compulsory or elective, indicate the credit weighting and NQF level of each module, and note the year of study for each module per programme application. Applies to public providers only - institutions must indicate the second order (4 digit) or third order (6 digit) CESM category of each existing qualification. Applies to public providers only - institutions must select the HEMIS qualification type for each existing qualification from the drop down menu provided Applies to public providers only - institutions must indicate the minimum experiential time required for each qualification application. This is expressed in months as a two-digit number. Applies to public providers only - institutions must indicate the number of full time equivalent (FTE) years required to complete each existing qualification. Applies to public providers only - institutions must insert a single digit 1-4 indicating the funding level of each existing qualification. 12

14 7.2 SECTION 2 (Public and Private Providers) 2.1 HEQC / Qualification Reference: 2.2 Proposed new title of amended qualification 2.3 Abbreviation of proposed new title 2.4 Qualification Type [Dropdown menu] Institutions must use the same HEQC / Qualification Reference as indicated in Section 1 to ensure validation and integration between data-capturing. Institutions must provide new titles for the amended HEQF aligned programmes and qualifications as they comply with the requirements of the HEQF. Institutions must provide the abbreviation used for each amended qualification. Making use of the drop down menu institutions must select the qualification type appropriate to the amended programme or qualification. 2.5 Qualification Designator Institutions must provide a designator for each amended qualification either by selecting one from the drop down menu or by selecting Other and typing in an alternative designator. Institutions should be reminded that designators are only used for degree programmes. 2.6 Motivation for use of designator alternative: 2.7 CESM category of proposed designator 2.8 Mode of Delivery [Use Drop down menu] Where an alternative designator has been used, institutions should motivate for the use of each designator for each amended programme or qualification. Making use of the drop down menu institutions must select the first order CESM applicable to the proposed designator. Making using of the drop down menu, institutions must indicate the mode of delivery via which each amended programme or qualification is being offered. 2.9 Professional Classification [Use Drop-down Menu] 2.10 Professional Body [Only required if Professional selected from Professional Classification] 2.11 Professional Body Registration Number [Only required if Professional selected from Professional Classification] 2.12 NQF Exit Level [Drop down menu NOTE: The level selected must correspond with the Qualification Type above Drop-down menu and corresponding details / rules] Making using of the drop down menu, institutions must indicate the professional classification each amended programme and qualification. If a programme or qualification has been indicated as professional, the appropriate Professional Body must be indicated by the institution. If a programme or qualification has been indicated as professional, and a Professional Body has been indicated, institutions must indicate the Professional Body Registration Number. Institutions must provide the NQF level of the amended programme or qualification. 13

15 2.13 Total Number of Credits [NOTE: Total credit weightings should correspond in summation to total credits at each NQF level above, and with the minimum number of credits per Qualification Type above. Drop-down menu options and corresponding details / rules] Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each amended programme or qualification Total Number of Credits at NQF level Total Number of Credits at NQF level Total Number of Credits at NQF level Total Number of Credits at NQF level Total Number of Credits at NQF level Total Number of Credits at NQF level 10 Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each amended programme or qualification at NQF level 5 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each amended programme or qualification at NQF level 6 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each amended programme or qualification at NQF level 7 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each amended programme or qualification at NQF level 8 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each amended programme or qualification at NQF level 9 where appropriate. Institutions must provide the total number of credits of each amended programme or qualification at NQF level 10 where appropriate First Qualifier Where applicable, institutions must indicate the first qualifier of the amended programme or qualification ensuring that this meets the requirements of the HEQF in terms of total and exit level credit weightings First Qualifier CESM Code Institutions must indicate the 6 digit number indicating the CESM code of the first qualifier for the amended programme or qualification where applicable. These credits should be expressed in digits Total number of credits allocated to the First Qualifier 2.23 Total number of credits allocated to the First Qualifier in the FINAL year of study. Institutions must indicate the total number of credits allocated to the first qualifier per amended programme or qualification. These credits should be expressed in digits. Institutions must indicate the total number of credits allocated to the first qualifier in the final year of study per amended programme or qualification. These credits should be expressed in digits Second Qualifier Where applicable, institutions must indicate the second qualifier of the amended programme or qualification ensuring that this meets the requirements of the HEQF in terms of total and exit level credit weightings. 14

16 2.25 Second Qualifier CESM Code 2.26 Total number of credits allocated to the Second Qualifier 2.27 Total number of credits allocated to the Second Qualifier in the FINAL year of study. Institutions must indicate the 6 digit number indicating the CESM code of the second qualifier for the amended programme or qualification where applicable. These credits should be expressed in digits. Institutions must indicate the total number of credits allocated to the second qualifier per amended programme or qualification. These credits should be expressed in digits. Institutions must indicate the total number of credits allocated to the second qualifier in the final year of study per amended programme or qualification. These credits should be expressed in digits Total number of credits allocated to WIL / EL 2.29 Total number of credits allocated to Research 2.30 Minimum admission requirements for the amended qualification 2.31 Minimum duration (years) for completion Full Time [Drop down menu NOTE: Number of years should correlate directly with total credits and Qualification Type - see table for drop-down options and corresponding details / rules] 2.32 Minimum duration (years) for completion Part Time [Drop down menu NOTE: Number of years should exceed double the FTE and should correlate directly with total credits and Qualification Type - see table for drop-down options and corresponding details / rules] 2.33 Purpose of the qualification / programme Where applicable, institutions must indicate the total number of credits allocated to Work Integrated Learning or Experiential Learning per amended programme or qualification. These credits should be expressed in digits. Where applicable, institutions must indicate the total number of credits allocated to Research per amended programme or qualification. This cell is compulsory for qualification type requiring research such as Bachelor Honours, Master s and Doctoral degrees and these credits exclude theoretical modules such as research methodology / methods. The credits should be expressed in digits. Institutions must provide the minimum admissions requirements for each amended programme or qualification. Institutions must provide the minimum duration of each amended programme or qualification when studied fulltime. Institutions must provide the minimum duration of each amended programme or qualification when studied parttime. Institutions must provide a text description of the purpose of the amended programme or qualification Exit level outcomes Institutions must provide detailed exit level outcomes for the amended programme or qualification in text format. 15

17 2.35 Articulation and progression Institutions must provide a detailed description of the articulation and progression routes as they apply the amended programme or qualification RPL Institutions must provide detailed RPL routes of access to the amended programme or qualification International comparability Institutions must provide details of the international comparability of the amended programme or qualification Amended programme design [Institution to complete the necessary table in Worksheet S2 qualification modules - can add lines as necessary] 2.39 Major fields of study by second or third order CESM category of amended qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] When completing the amended programme design table institutions must include unique module codes, full module names, indicate if modules are compulsory or elective, indicate the credit weighting and NQF level of each module, and note the year of study for each module per programme application. Applies to public providers only - institutions must indicate the second order (4 digit) or third order (6 digit) CESM category of each amended qualification HEMIS qualification type of amended qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] 2.41 HEMIS minimum experiential time of amended qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] [indicates number of months eg 04 Months] 2.42 Total subsidy units of amended qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] [validate against minimum number of years fulltime] 2.43 Funding level of amended qualification [Not applicable if Institution Type selected is "Private Institution"] Applies to public providers only - institutions must select the HEMIS qualification type for each amended qualification from the drop down menu provided Applies to public providers only - institutions must indicate the minimum experiential time required for each qualification application. This is expressed in months as a two-digit number. Applies to public providers only - institutions must indicate the number of full time equivalent (FTE) years required to complete each amended qualification. Applies to public providers only - institutions must insert a single digit 1-4 indicating the Funding level of each amended qualification. 16

18 8. CRITERIA AND CLASSIFICATION OF PROGRAMMES AND QUALIFICATIONS 8.1 Categorising programmes and qualifications Phase One of the HEQF Implementation Plan (CHE-HEQF 1:8) indicates that as part of their first submission to the CHE, each institution will be requested to categorise their programmes into three categories. As a general rule, these categories should be considered as requiring only technical changes (Category A), requiring some curriculum development (Category B); or requiring substantial re-curriculation such that a new programme is necessary (Category C). These categories and the changes that they represent to align with the HEQF are further explained with examples below: Categorising of Category A Programmes and Qualifications A Category A programme will require few or no changes to be aligned with the HEQF. Changes in this category would include an alignment in qualification type name such as National Certificate to Higher Certificate ; a change in NQF exit level only; or alignment of the nomenclature to align with the naming style of the HEQF. Changes to Category A programmes will generally relate to: 1. Qualification type eg National Certificate converted to a Higher Certificate 2. NQF exit level eg Bachelor of Arts NQF Exit level 6 to Bachelor of Arts NQF Exit level 7, assuming all else remains the same or very similar 3. Naming of the qualification eg Baccalaureus Artium (Language Studies) to Bachelor of Arts in Language Studies Categorising of Category B Programmes and Qualifications A Category B programme will require some curriculum development, but not so much as to constitute a 50% change to the programme structure, outcomes or total credits. The inclusion of required research credits, the differentiation between minimum and maximum credits at specific NQF levels within a qualification 1 ; and distinguishing between qualifiers and specialisations or majors may all be included as changes made to category B programmes. 1 Please note: The HEQF does not require qualifications to meet all maximum credit limitations as well as minimum limitations. For example, while a diploma programme may require a minimum of 60 credits at NQF level 7, the 120 credit NQF 5 credit maximum is a guideline and is not a requirement for all diplomas. This indication simply indicates that diploma qualifications may not have more than 120 credits at NQF level 5, however, institutions may choose to have fewer than this maximum. 17

19 Changes to Category B programmes will generally relate to: 1. Inclusion of required credits at specific NQF levels eg 60 credits at NQF level 7 in a Diploma; 30 credits of research at NQF level 8 in a Bachelor Honours degree; 60 credits research in a Master s degree 2. Differentiation between minimum and maximum credits (where necessary) eg 96 credits maximum NQF level 5, 120 credits minimum NQF level 7, 96 credits minimum NQF level 8 in a 480-credit professional Bachelor s degree 3. Distinguishing between qualifiers and specialisations/majors: to make use of a qualifier at least 50% of the minimum total credits for the qualification and at least 50% of the minimum credits at the qualification's exit level must be in the field of specialisation denoted by the qualifier (HEQF 2007:13). A specialisation / major is not subject to these limitations, but is also not permitted to be included in the title of the qualification. Categorising of Category C Programmes and Qualifications A Category C programme will require major curriculum development to be undertaken that will result in a 50% or more change to the programme design, and will thus require a new application for programme accreditation to be made. These changes will often take the form of changes in qualification type, changes in programme purpose, characteristics or outcomes and may include the replacement of stacked and early exit programmes and qualifications and those qualifications that have been removed from the NQF. Changes to Category C programmes will relate generally to: 1. 50% or more change to the programme design eg 240-credit NQF level 5 Diploma conversion to a 360-credit NQF level 6 Diploma; a change of this magnitude requires a complete structural and curriculum redesign of this programme and would need to be submitted as a new programme. 2. Top-up, stacked and early-exit qualifications eg 240-credit NQF level 6 National Diploma top-up from a 120 credit NQF level 5 National Certificate; at present the only stacked qualifications permitted are the Higher Certificate / Advanced Certificate combination, and early exits from qualifications are not permitted. All qualifications will be required to meet all the requirements of the HEQF as stipulated. 3. Qualifications that have been removed from the framework eg 120-credit NQF level 7 BTech top-up. Although institutions may intend to replace these programmes with new programmes available on the HEQF, existing programmes that will no longer be offered in the future must be submitted and categorised for recording purposes. 18

20 8.2 Generic qualifications and internal streams In the course of completing their submissions for HEQF implementation, public institutions may uncover legacy programmes offered as streams or majors within generic qualifications that have become established and differentiated programmes within the institution but which have not been accredited by the HEQC as such and have not been recorded on the institution s PQM. While it would be unreasonable to require these programmes to be submitted as Category C applications, these programmes are required to be submitted for HEQF alignment should the institution wish to continue offering the programmes. In these cases, institutions should categorise these programmes as Category B programmes requiring some curriculum development constituting no more than a 50% change. In addition, institutions will also be required to submit and categorise any generic programmes that they continue to offer under the appropriate category. 19

21 9. INTERNAL PROGRAMMES, MAJORS AND TEACH-OUT PROCESSES 9.1 Programmes and Qualifications The HEQF distinguishes between a programme and a qualification as follows: a qualification is the formal recognition and certification of learning achievement awarded by an accredited institution whereas a programme is a purposeful and structured set of learning experiences that leads to a qualification (HEQF 2007:6). Public provider qualifications and programmes are recorded on each individual institution s Programme and Qualification Mix (PQM) whereas each private higher education institution (PHEI) has its accredited programmes and qualifications recorded on the Register of Private Higher Education Institutions and on their individual institutional certificates of registration. 9.2 Internal programmes, majors and qualifiers Although some institutions may be offering a variety of internal and unrecorded programmes within qualifications (specifically as part of generic undergraduate degrees), in terms of the requirements of the HEQF and the HEQC s Criteria for Programme Accreditation, should these programmes exist within the institution as stand-alone programmes they are required to be accredited and recorded as such. Institutions must, however, distinguish between the offering of stand-alone programmes, and the offering of majors, streams or specialities that may exist within a number of programmes and qualifications. The HEQC defines a stand-alone programme to be one that runs independently of other similar programmes with differing characteristics, purpose and outcomes. Streams, majors and specialisations are typically found within generic qualifications where the purpose and outcomes of the qualification do not change regardless of which major or specialisation is selected. Further, institutions must consider the requirements of the HEQF when making use of a qualifier in renaming or re-curriculating a programme for HEQF alignment purposes. As per the requirements of the HEQF, in order to use a qualifier, at least 50% of the minimum total credits for the qualification and at least 50% of the minimum credits at the qualification s exit level must be in the field of specialisation denoted by the qualifier. The same applies to the use of the second qualifier (HEQF 2007:13). Institutions should not use a qualifier for majors or specialities unless these meet the requirements as stipulated above. 9.3 Teach-out Should a programme be categorised as a Category C, institutions are still required to complete Section 1 of the HEQF Implementation Template, but will not be required to complete Section 2. As part of the evaluation of the applications received, the HEQC will identify and collate those programmes categorised as Category C. As part of Section 1, 20

22 institutions will be required indicate the proposed teach-out date by when it is anticipated the those programmes categorised as Category C will be required to will be phased out. The institution will be required to inform the HEQC once this process is completed. It is anticipated this process could take up to five years to complete. Should institutions wish to replace their Category C programmes with new HEQF-aligned programmes, applications for Candidacy Phase Accreditation of these programmes should be made to the HEQC via the HEQC-Online. These applications can be submitted to the HEQC as soon as institutions are ready to do so. 21

23 10. HEQC CAPACITY AND THE EVALUATION PROCESS (INCLUDES HEQC ACCREDITATION FRAMEWORK) 10.1 Evaluation Process for HEQF Alignment Evaluation As has been indicated in the CHE-HEQF 1 (2010:8), once the Phase One submissions have been received by the HEQC via the HEQF-Online, these applications will be evaluated by a sub-committee of the Accreditation Committee for HEQF compliance and fit in terms of how each programme has been sorted into its respective category. Once this process is complete, and assuming there are no further concerns, the Category A programmes will then be recommended to the HEQC as being HEQF-aligned and deemed accredited. Once the HEQC has concluded its proceedings, institutions will be informed in writing of the final outcome of this process and which programmes from their Category A submissions have been deemed accredited, and which may have been further categorised as either Category B or Category C programmes. In the case of Category B programmes, institutions will be requested to submit additional information in Phase Two of Implementation Plan for subject matter expert evaluation. In this phase, as programmes will be submitted in a phased approach based on institution type, programmes will also be sub-divided and evaluated along broad fields of study such as humanities, commerce, law etc. As such, using subject matter experts in group evaluations will be the methodology of choice. This will ensure consistency across disciplines and within institution types Criteria for HEQF Alignment Evaluation As the implementation of the HEQF is an alignment exercise more so than an accreditation one, the Criteria to be used to evaluate the alignment of programmes with the HEQF are predominantly those to be found within the HEQF document itself. Beyond this, some information required by the DHET and SAQA for their specific purposes has also been included and will need to be taken into consideration when evaluating a programme or qualification for HEQF alignment. That said, however, as this process is driven by the CHE, the Criteria for Programme Accreditation will always be applicable and be the overriding set of criteria to be used in this process. Institutions would be well advised to familiarise themselves with the HEQF, the CHE-HEQF Communiqué 1, the Joint Communiqué 1 4, SAQA s Level Descriptors for the NQF and the HEQC s Criteria for Programme Accreditation. All can be found as Annexures to this document Envisaged HEQC Capacity Development In terms of the capacity development requirements within the HEQC to support a project of this size and scope, the HEQC will again be following a phased approach to mirror the 22

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